Skip to main content Accessibility help

Infant body composition in the PEA POD® era: what have we learned and where do we go from here?

  • C. Li (a1), L. J. McCargar (a2) and L. M. Casey (a1) (a2) (a3)


The availability of clinically feasible infant body composition assessment can inform current questions regarding the developmental origins of chronic disease. A strategic approach will facilitate more rapid advancement in knowledge. The objective of this study was to summarize published evidence and ongoing research activity in infant body composition using the PEA POD® infant body composition system. All published studies using the PEA POD® were identified and grouped according to study population and question. All centers with PEA POD® units were invited to participate in an online survey regarding past, current and future PEA POD® use, and results were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The resulting information was used to identify gaps or limitations in existing knowledge, thus highlighting potential research priorities. Twenty-seven published articles were identified and grouped into six research themes. Although the number of infants studied is significant in some areas, interpretation of data is limited by methodological differences. Survey responses were received from 16 of ∼60 centers. Research themes echoed those identified from the published literature. Controlling for or reporting potential confounding variables is essential for understanding infant body composition data. Measurement of health outcome variables would be helpful in identifying associations.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr L. M. Casey, 4-571 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, 11405-87 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 1G9. Email


Hide All
1.Garofano, A, Czernichow, P, Breant, B. Effect of ageing on beta-cell mass and function in rats malnourished during the perinatal period. Diabetologia. 1999; 42, 711718.
2.Sandovici, I, Smith, NH, Nitert, MD, et al. Maternal diet and aging alter the epigenetic control of a promoter–enhancer interaction at the Hnf4a gene in rat pancreatic islets. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011; 108, 54495454.
3.Amesz, EM, Schaafsma, A, Cranendonk, A, Lafeber, HN. Optimal growth and lower fat mass in preterm infants fed a protein-enriched postdischarge formula. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010; 50, 200207.
4.Koo, WW, Hockman, EM. Posthospital discharge feeding for preterm infants: effects of standard compared with enriched milk formula on growth, bone mass, and body composition. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006; 84, 13571364.
5.Escribano, J, Luque, V, Ferre, N, et al. Effect of protein intake and weight gain velocity on body fat mass at 6 months of age: the EU childhood obesity programme. Int J Obes (Lond). 2012; 36, 548553.
6.Ellis, KJ, Yao, M, Shypailo, RJ, et al. Body-composition assessment in infancy: air-displacement plethysmography compared with a reference 4-compartment model. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007; 85, 9095.
7.Eriksson, B, Lof, M, Eriksson, O, Hannestad, U, Forsum, E. Fat-free mass hydration in newborns: assessment and implications for body composition studies. Acta Paediatr. 2011; 100, 680686.
8.Ma, G, Yao, M, Liu, Y, et al. Validation of a new pediatric air-displacement plethysmograph for assessing body composition in infants. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004; 79, 653660.
9.Sainz, RD, Urlando, A. Evaluation of a new pediatric air-displacement plethysmograph for body-composition assessment by means of chemical analysis of bovine tissue phantoms. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003; 77, 364370.
10.Urlando, A, Dempster, P, Aitkens, S. A new air displacement plethysmograph for the measurement of body composition in infants. Pediatr Res. 2003; 53, 486492.
11.Yao, M, Nommsen-Rivers, L, Dewey, K, Urlando, A. Preliminary evaluation of a new pediatric air displacement plethysmograph for body composition assessment in infants. Acta Diabetol. 2003; 40(Suppl. 1), 555558.
12.Andersen, GS, Girma, T, Wells, JC, et al. Fat and fat-free mass at birth: air displacement plethysmography measurements on 350 Ethiopian newborns. Pediatr Res. 2011; 70, 501506.
13.Carberry, AE, Colditz, PB, Lingwood, BE. Body composition from birth to 4.5 months in infants born to non-obese women. Pediatr Res. 2010; 68, 8488.
14.Eriksson, B, Lof, M, Forsum, E. Body composition in full-term healthy infants measured with air displacement plethysmography at 1 and 12 weeks of age. Acta Paediatr. 2010; 99, 563568.
15.Fields, DA, Krishnan, S, Wisniewski, AB. Sex differences in body composition early in life. Gend Med. 2009; 6, 369375.
16.Fields, DA, Gilchrist, JM, Catalano, PM, et al. Longitudinal body composition data in exclusively breast-fed infants: a multicenter study. Obesity. 2011; 19, 18871891.
17.Roggero, P, Gianni, ML, Orsi, A, et al. Neonatal period: body composition changes in breast-fed full-term newborns. Neonatology. 2010; 97, 139143.
18.Roggero, P, Gianni, ML, Orsi, A, et al. Quality of growth in exclusively breast-fed infants in the first six months of life: an Italian study. Pediatr Res. 2010; 68, 542544.
19.Giannì, ML, Roggero, P, Taroni, F, et al. Adiposity in small for gestational age preterm infants assessed at term equivalent age. Arch Dis Child – Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2009; 94, F368F372.
20.Ramel, SE, Gray, HL, Ode, KL, et al. Body composition changes in preterm infants following hospital discharge: a comparison to term infants. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2011; 53, 333338.
21.Roggero, P, Giannì, ML, Amato, O, et al. Postnatal growth failure in preterm infants: recovery of growth and body composition after term. Early Hum Dev. 2008; 84, 555559.
22.Roggero, P, Giannì, ML, Amato, O, et al. Is term newborn body composition being achieved postnatally in preterm infants? Early Hum Dev. 2009; 85, 349352.
23.Roggero, P, Gianni, ML, Liotto, N, et al. Rapid recovery of fat mass in small for gestational age preterm infants after term. PLoS One. 2011; 6, e14489.
24.Anderson, AK, McDougald, DM, Steiner-Asiedu, M. Dietary trans fatty acid intake and maternal and infant adiposity. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010; 64, 13081315.
25.Hull, HR, Dinger, MK, Knehans, AW, Thompson, DM, Fields, DA. Impact of maternal body mass index on neonate birthweight and body composition. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008; 198, 416e1416e6.
26.Anderson, AK. Association between infant feeding and early postpartum infant body composition: a pilot prospective study. Int J Pediatr. 2009; 2009, 648091.
27.Bartok, CJ. Babies fed breastmilk by breast versus by bottle: a pilot study evaluating early growth patterns. Breastfeed Med. 2011; 6, 117124.
28.Roggero, P, Giannì, ML, Amato, O, et al. Influence of protein and energy intakes on body composition of formula-fed preterm infants after term. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2008; 47, 375378.
29.Lee, W, Balasubramaniam, M, Deter, RL, et al. Fetal growth parameters and birth weight: their relationship to neonatal body composition. Ultrasound and Obstetrics in Gynecology. 2009; 33, 441446.
30.Moyer-Mileur, LJ, Slater, H, Thomson, JA, et al. Newborn adiposity measured by plethysmography is not predicted by late gestation two-dimensional ultrasound measures of fetal growth. The Journal of Nutrition. 2009; 139, 17721778.
31.Deierlein, AL, Thornton, J, Hull, H, Paley, C, Gallagher, D. An anthropometric model to estimate neonatal fat mass using air displacement plethysmography. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012; 9, 21.
32.Lingwood, BE, Storm van Leeuwen, AM, Carberry, AE, et al. Prediction of fat-free mass and percentage of body fat in neonates using bioelectrical impedance analysis and anthropometric measures: validation against the PEA POD. Br J Nutr. 2012; 107, 15451552.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Infant body composition in the PEA POD® era: what have we learned and where do we go from here?

  • C. Li (a1), L. J. McCargar (a2) and L. M. Casey (a1) (a2) (a3)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.